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Stay Injury-free by Tending to Your Soft Tissues

Beth Bradford

Dec 26, 2022

Sure, you can tear a muscle, but there are other soft tissues to consider

Soft tissue injuries are the most prevalent in both sports and daily life, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Soft tissues, such as our muscles, tendons, and ligaments, can sustain damage from a single occurrence, such as a fall, or a steady, repetitive activity, such as jogging. Soft tissue injuries include spraining a joint, like the ankle, and straining a muscle, like a hamstring (via Sports Medicine Australia). The most frequent overuse injury, tendinitis, arises when a tendon is repeatedly strained, causing inflammation and discomfort (via the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons). You might potentially suffer from bursitis, which occurs when repetitive motions inflame the sac of cushioning between bones and soft tissues.

Although a quick fall, a violent twist, or prolonged physical stress can cause soft tissue injuries, other variables might also increase your risk of being harmed. If you have been hurt previously and your body has not fully recovered, you are more likely to get injured again (via Sports Medicine Australia). Research from the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sport found that elite adolescent athletes who lacked good sleep or nutrition were more likely to develop an injury. A study in the Current Sports Medicine Reports showed that people who routinely slept less than seven hours per night were 1.75 times more likely to get an injury.

Avoiding injury to your soft tissues

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends a variety of measures for preventing overuse injuries, strains, and sprains. If you engage in high-intensity interval training, you should do a good warm-up to gradually increase your heart rate and warm your soft tissues. Additionally, you should stay hydrated before, during, and after your workouts. Be careful to consume a pint of liquids before activity and then every 20 minutes while exercising. After your workout, have an additional pint of water. After your workout, you'll also need to calm down your heart rate and muscles, so lessen the speed or intensity of your workout. According to the National Health Service, five minutes of gentle stretching after exercise might help calm down the body.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, if you exercise frequently, you should pay attention to your body and recognize when it's time to relax. Alternatively, if you only exercise on the weekends, strive for 30 minutes of movement every day to maintain healthy soft tissues.

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